As Patriot League Championships near, the cross country teams have become more and more prepared for their most important competition yet. Both the women’s and men’s squads have portrayed dominance throughout the year in their various meets. Among the different accomplishments are six first-place finishes, and the Bison cross country teams have finished in the top half of 83 percent of their tournaments in 2014.
“The team has really gelled a lot more since the Bison Open, and we established a solid group of front runners since then,” Andrew Garcia-Garrison ’15 said.
On the women’s side, four different locations have seen the Orange and Blue leave victorious. The women’s team opened the season with two first-place victories in the Detroit Mercy Invitational (Sept. 6) and Dickinson College Long Course-Short Course Invitational (Sep. 20) in convincing fashion.
Since then, the Bison also finished first at the Paul Short Invitational (Oct. 4) and Gettysburg Invitational (Oct. 18). Three of their four titles involved competitive fields of 35 teams or more.
“Our women reported to camp very fit and we have run well all year. Our depth is as good as we have ever had, and it is definitely showing. A few of our top returning people had a rough start to their seasons. However, they now seem to be coming around just in time for the championship meets,” head coach Kevin Donner said.
Over on the men’s side, a first-place finish in the Detroit Mercy Invitational opened its season. Members of the men’s team have made great strides in recent weeks, having finished first out of 34 teams in the Gettysburg Invitational and fourth out of 37 teams at the highly competitive Princeton Invitational (Oct. 18).
“Although our men finished sixth last year and we were picked to finish sixth in the preseason poll, I believe we will definitely place in the top three with a dark horse shot at a win. This team is hungry for success, and they will give it everything they possibly have,” Donner said.
The most prestigious goal for these two squads still lies in the future with the Patriot League Championships on Nov. 1. The women have been very successful, having won the Patriot League Championships four times since 2005-06. The men could certainly finish near or at the top of the standings this season too.
“I expect the team to put up one of the greatest fights the Patriot League has seen on Saturday. We are confident, strong, and want it more than anyone else. I’m not going to lie, we want to win. It’s going to be tough, but we are ready,” Pearse said.